Soleado Lavender Farm

Near the foot of Sugarloaf Mountain lies Soleado Lavender Farm, the creation and home of Sophia Watkins and Kevin Salmeron. The farm is nestled amongst rolling hills, meadows, and forests. A 400 year old white oak tree stands majestically over the rows of purple blooms buzzing with grateful bees.

Soleado Lavender Farm

The farm’s 400 year old white oak exudes strength and dignity.

It is a remarkable, even magical place; to visit is to be enveloped in a cloud of serenity…or is that just the amazing fragrance that is lavender?

Soleado Lavender Farm

On an October morning, bees were busy gathering nectar from the blooms.

Last Saturday morning, I had the honor of taking part in a special event at the farm. About 15 visitors joined us for a walking tour and lavender talk. As we strolled along the grounds, Kevin shared with us the history, methods, and vision for their farm.

Soleado Lavender Farm

Kevin speaks to the special process for growing lavender in Maryland.

We walked and heard more about their labyrinth, ponds, bamboo forest, and plans for the future. A sense of well-being and inspiration settled over our group, as we came full circle back to the patio for the second part of the event.

Soleado Lavender Farm

Atop a hill overlooking the farm gives you a serene vantage point.

As someone who is passionate and curious about food, farming, and folklore, I was happy to share what I learned about the remarkable history of this plant in my talk. As it turns out, the history of humanity is also the history of lavender; we are intertwined across time, belief systems, and borders. People have been using lavender for thousands of years for the same reasons we continue to use and treasure it today. It is a flower and a fragrance that resonates deeply with us.

Soleado Lavender Farm

Lavender is treasured not only by people but also by pollinators. (Photo: Soleado Lavender Farm)

In my interactive talk, we explored civilizations and their uses and beliefs around lavender. The experience included folklore, poetry, and music. At one point, we bathed our hands in a concoction recommended by Leonardo DaVinci; I quipped if we can’t all be geniuses, we can at least smell like one!

Today, we are in the midst of a global lavender renaissance, with it being present in pop culture, cuisine, and complementary medicine. In the midst of the breathless pace of our modern culture, lavender encourages us to slow down and savor. The tour and talk event was quite successful, and repeat opportunities are going to be offered in 2018. You can read more the experience as covered in the Frederick News Post.

Soleado Lavender Farm

The talk spanned thousands of years of humanity’s history with lavender. (Photo: Anne Hofmann)

Visit Soleado’s website for more information about the farm, like its location, hours, events, and products. They also welcome volunteers, an important part of developing their vision.

Soleado Lavender Farm

A colorful sign helps show you the way to the farm. (Photo: Anne Hofmann)

Have you ever visited a lavender farm? Let me know about it in the comments. Thanks for reading!

Read Taste: An Ecstasy of French Cheeses about more hands-on learning.

Want to learn more about growing and using lavender? Click here to purchase The Lavender Lover’s Handbook: The 100 Most Beautiful and Fragrant Varieties for Growing, Crafting, and Cooking. A portion of your purchase from Amazon will go toward helping my blog. Thanks for your support!


Christine Rai

Christine Rai is a college professor in the Washington, D.C. area with a passion for food studies and experiential learning. She loves learning more in her kitchen, garden, and travels. Above all, Christine enjoys sharing adventures with her husband and two daughters. Christine is available for speaking, teaching, speaking, and leading travel experiences. Fill out the contact form to get in touch.

5 Comments

Ron Orban · October 17, 2017 at 6:44 am

Beautiful article professor. So glad you were able to see some bees. Sure sounds like a wonderful place to visit, thanks for keeping us informed that’s awesome. Until we meet again

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